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Publication numberUS8140259 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 12/846,647
Publication dateMar 20, 2012
Filing dateJul 29, 2010
Priority dateJul 3, 2007
Also published asUS20090012741, US20100299102
Publication number12846647, 846647, US 8140259 B2, US 8140259B2, US-B2-8140259, US8140259 B2, US8140259B2
InventorsDavid R. Hall, David Lundgreen, Christopher Durrand, Mark A. Schwartz
Original AssigneeSchlumberger Technology Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Location device with a gravity measuring device
US 8140259 B2
Abstract
A location device has a gravity measurement instrument in communication with a database which has the locations relative to time of an astronomical object. The location device also has a timepiece indicating the time which may be used to determine the location of the astronomical object.
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Claims(8)
What is claimed is:
1. A location device embedded within a drill bit, the location device, comprising:
a gravity measurement instrument, said gravity measurement instrument being configured to measure a gravitation field at a location of said device and to generate a gravitation signal that is reflective of said gravitation field;
a timepiece indicating a time at said location during which said gravity measurement instrument measures said gravitation field and configured to generate a time signal reflective of said time;
a database that includes location data as a function of time for a first astronomical object relative to a second astronomical object, said database configured to be in communication with said gravity measurement instrument and said timepiece, said database receiving said time signal and said gravitation signal and configured to calculate:
a first vector direction dependent upon said gravitation signal and said time signal;
a second vector direction dependent upon said gravitation signal and said time signal; and
position data indicating said location of said device, said position data dependent upon said first vector direction, said second vector direction, said time signal, and said location data as a function of time.
2. The location device of claim 1, further comprising a second gravity measurement instrument to measure the gravitation field at a surface location and to generate a second gravitation signal reflective of said gravitation field at the surface location, the second gravity measurement device in communication with said database, the database further configured to compensate for anomalies in the gravitational field dependent upon the gravitation signal and the second gravitation signal.
3. The location device of claim 1, wherein the first vector direction is further dependent upon a location of said first astronomical object at said time and the second vector direction is further dependent upon a location of said second astronomical object at said time.
4. A method for locating a location of a drill bit comprising:
obtaining a drill bit having: a gravity measurement instrument, said gravity measurement instrument configured to measure a gravitation field at a location of said gravity measurement instrument and to generate a gravitation signal reflective of said gravitation field;
a timepiece indicating a time at said location during which said gravity measurement instrument measures said gravitation field and configured to generate a time signal reflective of said time;
a database that includes location data as a function of time for a first astronomical object relative to a second astronomical object, said database configured to be in communication with said gravity measurement instrument and said timepiece, said database receiving said time signal and said gravitation signal and configured to calculate:
a first vector direction dependent upon said gravitation signal and said time signal;
a second vector direction dependent upon said gravitation signal and said time signal; and
position data indicating said location of said device dependent upon said first vector direction, said second vector direction, said time signal, and said location data as a function of time;
measuring said gravitation field at said location;
generating said gravitation signal;
generating said time signal;
calculating said first vector direction;
calculating said second vector direction;
calculating said position data.
5. The method of claim 4, further comprising:
obtaining a second gravity measurement instrument located at a surface location, said second gravity measurement instrument configured to measure a surface gravitation field and to generate a surface gravitation signal reflective of said surface gravitation field;
measuring said surface gravitational field at said surface location;
generating a surface gravitation signal;
detecting changes in said surface gravitation signal;
comparing said changes in said surface gravitation signal to said gravitation signal.
6. The method of claim 4, further comprising the first vector direction being dependent upon a location of said first astronomical object at said time and the second vector direction being dependent upon a location of said second astronomical object at said time.
7. A location device embedded within a drill bit, the location device, comprising:
a gravity measurement instrument, said gravity measurement instrument being configured to measure a gravitation field at a location of said device and to generate a gravitation signal that is reflective of said gravitation field;
a timepiece indicating a time at said location during which said gravity measurement instrument measures said gravitation field and configured to generate a time signal reflective of said time;
a database that includes location data as a function of time for at least a first astronomical object and a second astronomical object, said database configured to be in communication with said gravity measurement instrument and said timepiece, said database receiving said time signal and said gravitation signal and configured to calculate:
a first vector direction dependent upon said gravitation signal, said time signal, and a location of said first astronomical object at said time;
a second vector direction dependent upon said gravitation signal, said time signal, and a location of said second astronomical object at said second time; and
position data indicating said location of said device, said position data dependent upon said first vector direction, said second vector direction, said time signal, and said location data as a function of time.
8. The location device of claim 7, further comprising a second gravity measurement instrument to measure the gravitation field at a surface location and to generate a second gravitation signal reflective of said gravitation field at the surface location, the second gravity measurement device in communication with said database, the database further configured to compensate for anomalies in the gravitational field dependent upon the gravitation signal and the second gravitation signal.
Description
PRIORITY CLAIM

This application is a continuation of and claims the benefit of U.S. Patent application No. 11/772,907 filed on 7/3/2007 now abandoned, the disclosure of which is incorporated by this reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In many instances the location of an object may be critical to the success of a project. Many locating systems such as Global Positioning Systems have been implemented to assist in the location of objects.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,379,224 which is herein incorporated by reference for all that it contains, discloses a Global Positioning system used in applications involving radiosondes, sonobuoys, and other objects. The GPS data is processed in a data processing workstation where the position and velocity of a sensor, at the time the data was sampled, is computed. A data buffer in the sensor is periodically refreshed, and the workstation periodically computes the new position and velocity of the sensor.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,983,161 which is herein incorporated by reference for all that it contains, discloses GPS satellite ranging signals at one of a plurality of vehicles/aircraft/automobiles that are computer processed to continuously determine the one's kinematic tracking position on a pathway with centimeter accuracy.

These types of systems have been useful in the locating of certain objects. However, these types of systems generally depend on satellite communication to function appropriately. In places where satellite communication may be impeded alternatives may be useful.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A location device has a gravity measurement instrument in communication with a database which has the locations according to time of an astronomical object. The location device also has a timepiece indicating the time which may be used to determine the location of the astronomical object.

The location device may measure the gravitational force of least two astronomical objects creating two vector directions. Between these two vector directions an angle is formed that may be used in finding the position of the location device.

In another aspect of the invention a method comprising the steps of providing a gravity measurement instrument at a position within the universe may be used to locate the position of the gravity measurement instrument. The gravity measurement instrument may be in communication with a database that comprises the locations of at least two astronomical objects. Each astronomical object may provide a gravitational force on the gravity measurement device, creating a gravitational field. The method may further comprise measuring the gravitational field of the gravity measurement instrument; and calculating the position of the gravity measurement instrument from the gravitational field by determining a vector direction of the gravitational force from each astronomical object. Generally, a gravitometer is used in the measurement of gravitational forces. Types of gravitometer may include a zero length spring, a Lacoste gravitometer, a relative gravitometer, an absolute gravitometer, a superconducting gravitometer, or a combination thereof. Generally, the gravity measurement instrument comprises a quartz material, metallic material, elastomeric material, plastic material, or a combination thereof.

The location device may be placed in various places such as caves, cities, jungles, a plane, a submergible machine, a space shuttle, or beneath the surface of an astronomical object. In some embodiments, the location device may be used as an alternative to the commonly used GPS such as in cases where the communication between the location device and GPS satellite is blocked, or in other embodiments it may be used as a primary locating device. The location device may also be placed on a plane, a submergible machine, a space shuttle, a person, or on or in the surface of an astronomical object. The location device may be of particular importance in downhole operations such as mining and drilling operations. The location device may be deployed within a tool string or on a mining machine. The location device may further be placed within a housing that may protect it from harsh conditions. It may be of importance that the gravity measurement instrument be stationary relative to the astronomical object upon which it is positioned. Astronomical objects that may create a gravitational force on the gravity measurement instrument may include the Earth, the sun, the moon, a comet, a star, or a combination thereof. The database may comprise the locations of the astronomical objects which may be previously known or predictable. The astronomical object may move relative to the gravity measurement instrument. The gravity measurement instrument may be able to measure the gravitational forces as the astronomical object moves. The various gravitational forces and locations of the astronomical object at various positions may be recorded to the database.

In some embodiments of the present invention, the gravity measuring device may be part of an array of gravity measuring devices which may also be used to aid in determining a size, a boundary, a volume and/or a density of an astronomical object in part or in whole, such as mineral accumulations or hydrocarbon deposits. In some embodiments, tides or other local effects may be determine through the use of multiple gravity measuring devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an orthogonal diagram of a derrick attached to a tool string comprising a location device.

FIG. 2 is a cross-section of a drill bit comprising a location device.

FIG. 3 is a cross-section of a drill bit comprising another embodiment of a location device.

FIG. 4 is an orthogonal diagram of derrick attached to a tool string comprising a location device.

FIG. 5 is an orthogonal diagram of derrick attached to a tool string comprising a location device.

FIG. 6 is an orthogonal diagram of derrick attached to a tool string comprising a location device.

FIG. 7 is an orthogonal diagram of derrick attached to a tool string comprising a location device.

FIG. 8 is an orthogonal diagram of a location device positioned within an under ground enclosure.

FIG. 9 is an orthogonal diagram of a location device with more than two vector directions.

FIG. 10 is an orthogonal diagram of a location device located on a mining machine.

FIG. 11 is an orthogonal diagram of a location device located within an aircraft.

FIG. 12 is an orthogonal diagram of a location device located within a submergible machine.

FIG. 13 is an orthogonal diagram of a location device on a person.

FIG. 14 is a diagram of an embodiment of a method for locating the position of the gravity measuring device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION AND THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is an orthogonal diagram of a derrick 100 a attached to a tool string 101 a comprising a location device 103 a. In FIG. 1 the location device 103 a is placed downhole in the tool string 101 a beneath the surface of the Earth and may continue downhole as the tool string 101 a proceeds.

An astronomical object 102 may create a sufficient gravitational force that may be sensed by the location device 103 a and may create a vector direction 107 toward the astronomical object 102. The astronomical object 102 may be the Earth, the moon, a comet, the sun, stars, or a combination thereof as long as its position and mass are accurately known. A second vector direction 105 may be generated from an astronomical object, such as a planet, upon which the location device 103 a is placed. FIG. 1 shows one vector direction 107 generated by the moon and another vector direction 105 generated by the Earth upon which the location device is placed. With at least two vector directions 105, 107 an angle 106 between the vectors 105, 107 may be measured and may aid in locating the device 103 a.

Multiple location points may be taken and recorded as the location device proceeds downhole. The inclination, rotation, and direction of the tool string may also be taken into account by the location device. Measurements, such as those taken from instruments such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, or other inclination and direction instrumentation may add data which may be used to help determine the location of the location device.

In some embodiments, a second gravity measuring device 150 may be located uphole on the earth's surface which may be in communication with the downhole gravity measuring device and may be used to determine changes in gravity readings at the surface. These changes may be compared to the readings taken downhole to determine if an uphole or downhole anomaly is affecting the gravity measuring device. The gravity measuring devices may be in communication with each other through tool string telemetry systems such as wired pipe, mud pulse, radio wave, or short hop. In a preferred embodiment, a telemetry system such as the one described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,670,880, which is herein incorporated by reference for all that it discloses, may be incorporated with the present invention.

The embodiment of FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional diagram of a drill bit 200 a comprising a location device 103 b in communication with a database 201 a. In some embodiments the database 201 a may be located uphole. The drill bit 200 a comprises a body 202 a intermediate a shank 203 a and a working surface 204 a. The location device 103 b may be placed in a housing in the drill bit 200 a or farther up the tool string. The location device 103 b may also be in communication with a timepiece 290 a that may indicate the location time of an astrological object, and may be located uphole or downhole. The database 201 a may comprise the locations relative to time of an astronomical object. The location device 103 b may comprise a gravity measurement instrument 205 a such as a relative gravimeter similar to the one shown in FIG. 2. The gravimeter in FIG. 2 is a weight on a spring, and by measuring the amount by which the weight stretches the spring, local gravity may be measured. From the direction of the gravitational forces on the location device 103 b one may calculate an angle 106 between the vector directions from which a location of the device 103 b may be derived.

The embodiment of FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional diagram of a drill bit 200b, comprising a location device 103 c in communication with a database 201 b. In some embodiments the database 201 b may be located uphole. The drill bit 200 b comprises a body 202 b intermediate a shank 203 b and a working surface 204 b. The location device 103 c may be placed in a housing in the drill bit 200 b or farther up the tool string. The location device 103 c may also be in communication with a timepiece 290 b that may indicate the location time of an astrological object, and may be located uphole or downhole. The database 201 b may comprise the locations relative to time of an astronomical object.

FIGS. 4-7 are orthogonal diagrams of a derrick 100 b attached to a tool string 101 b including another embodiment of a location device 103 d shown at different times. In FIGS. 4-7 the location device 103 d is stationary relative to the Earth 110 upon which it is positioned. Another astronomical object 102 a that may create a vector direction 107 a may move relative to the location device 103 d. As the astronomical object 102 a moves relative to the location device 103 d it may continue to exert a gravitational force on the location device 103 d. This gravitational force may be continuously measured by the location device 103 d as the astronomical object 102 a moves.

FIGS. 4-7 shows a vector direction toward the center of the Earth 110 while the other vector direction generated by the moon moves with the moon throughout FIGS. 4-7 as shown by the progression of vector direction 107 a to 107 d and vector direction 105 a to 105 d. The location device 103 d may be in communication with the database that may record this data. Knowledge of this data is important in downhole applications due to the unpredictability of the location of a drill bit during the drilling process. Knowing the location of the drill bit aids in locating substances such as oil, natural gas, coal methane, hydrocarbons, minerals, or a combination thereof.

Other applications may arise where the location device is placed on astronomical bodies such as the moon. As the location device is stationary relative to the moon the gravitational force of another astronomical object such as the Earth may be measured as it moves relative to the location device, which may be useful for drilling or exploration applications on the moon.

FIG. 8 is an orthogonal diagram of another embodiment of a location device 103 e situated within an underground enclosure, such as a cave. The location device 103 e may be able to sense the gravitational forces that may create a vector directions 105 e through a formation of the earth 110 a and vector direction 107 e to an astronomical body 102 b.

The formation may be rock, limestone, mud, concrete, or a combination thereof. An angle 106 e is formed by the two vector directions 105 e, 107 e and may be used to locate the device 103 e.

FIG. 9 is an orthogonal diagram of another embodiment of a location device 103 f. The location device 103 f may measure the force of gravity from more than two astronomical objects 102 c, 102 d, and 110 a creating more than two vector directions 105 f, 107 f. FIG. 9 shows three vector directions 105 f, 107 f, and 901 caused by three astronomical objects. The astronomical objects 102 c, 102 d, and 110 a may be the Earth, the moon, a comet, the sun, stars, or a combination thereof.

FIG. 10 is an orthogonal diagram of a location device 103 g on a mining machine 1001. The location device 103 g may be placed in or on the mining machine 1001. The location device 103 g may travel with the mining machine 1001 and may take periodic or occasional readings while the mining machine 1001 is stopped to find its location. The location device 103 g may be able to sense the gravitational forces of astronomical objects during the mining process creating at least two vector directions 105 g, 107 g. An angle 106 g is formed by at least two vector directions 105 g, 107 g which may aid in locating the mining machine 1001.

FIG. 11 is an orthogonal diagram of an airplane 1100 comprising a location device 103 h. The location device 103 h may be able to sense the gravitational pull and vector direction 105 h 107 h of at least astronomical objects 102 h and another astronomical object (not illustrated). As the plane 1100 moves the location device 103 h may be in communication with a database that comprises the location of an astrological object 102 h. In such embodiments, the gravity measurement device will take into account the movement of the airplane. Accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, may be used to take into account the movement of the airplane. In some embodiments, the altitude may also be taken into account.

FIG. 12 is an orthogonal diagram of a submergible object 1201 comprising a location device 103 i. The location device 103 i may be able to sense the gravitational force while submerged in a liquid 1202 of at least astronomical objects 102 i and another astronomical object (not illustrated). The submergible object 1201 may be a submarine, a mine, a fish trap, a SCUBA diver, a scientific instrument or combinations thereof. In some embodiments, a depth may be used in conjunction with the gravity measuring device to help determine the location.

FIG. 13 is an orthogonal diagram of a person 1301 possessing a location device 103 j. The location device 103 j may be able to sense the gravitational pull and vector direction 105 j, 107 j of at least astronomical object 102 j and another astronomical object (not illustrated). The location device 103 j may be in wireless communication with a database. The database may comprise the location of an astronomical object 102 j relative to time. The location device 103 j may be in the form of a handheld device.

FIG. 14 is a method 1400 of locating the position of an object. The method 1400 comprises a step 1401 providing a gravity measurement instrument at a position within the universe. The method 1400 further comprises a step 1402 of knowing a position of at least two astronomical objects which each provide a gravitational force on the gravity measurement device. The method 1400 further comprises a step 1403 of measuring a gravitational field of the gravity measurement device. The method 1400 further comprises a step 1404 of calculating the position of the gravity measurement instrument from the gravitational field by determining a vector direction of the gravitational force from each astronomical object. In some embodiments, the method may comprise an additional step of including other information, such as information from another gravity measuring device or another sensor, as necessary to determine the location.

Whereas the present invention has been described in particular relation to the drawings attached hereto, it should be understood that other and further modifications apart from those shown or suggested herein, may be made within the scope and spirit of the present invention.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8947524Mar 12, 2012Feb 3, 2015King Abdulaziz City For Science And TechnologyMethod of predicting a trajectory of an asteroid
Classifications
U.S. Classification701/408, 299/106, 175/45
International ClassificationE21C25/10, G01C21/00, E21B25/16
Cooperative ClassificationG01V7/00, G01C21/10, G01C21/02, E21B47/022
European ClassificationG01C21/02, E21B47/022, G01V7/00, G01C21/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 4, 2010ASAssignment
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HALL, DAVID R.;REEL/FRAME:024787/0695
Effective date: 20100122
Owner name: SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION, TEXAS
Owner name: HALL, DAVID R., UTAH
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LUNDGREEN, DAVID;DURRAND, CHRISTOPHER;SCHWARTZ, MARK A.;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070621 TO 20070703;REEL/FRAME:024787/0661